Rookies Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Jones each netted his first career NHL goal as the Predators rallied three times to tie the score before Dallas's Fabian Brunnstrom netted the game-winning goal with 3:25 left in regulation to lift the Stars to a 6-4 win over the Predators on Wednesday night. Mike Modano closed out the scoring with an empty net goal.
Four Predators players recorded multi-point games, including Jones, who after scoring the goal to tie the game 3-3, assisted on the third period score to knot the score at 4-4. Martin Erat (1g-1a), Rich Peverley (2a), and Ryan Suter (2a) also posted multi-point efforts for Nashville.
After a tight defensive battle through the bulk of the first period, Dallas opened the scoring with a power-play goal just 10 seconds before the first intermission. The Preds were called for an offensive zone penalty on the forecheck behind the Dallas net at the 19:47 mark of the period. With the new rules, the faceoff came all the way back down into the Nashville zone. Modano won the faceoff cleanly to Mike Ribeiro on the sideboards. Ribeiro quickly relayed the pass to Stephane Robidas for a blast from the center slot, Robidas's first goal of the season.
The teams came out flying the middle period, combining for six scores – three for each side.
The Stars claimed a 2-0 lead 29 seconds into the second period when James Neal's flip-in from the neutral zone was collected by Brandon Crombeen racing down the right wing to create a two-on-one deep in the Preds zone. Crombeen centered a pass to Modano alone cutting to the front of the net for the redirect.
The Predators answered quickly with a pair of goals of their own, the first a power-play marker by Radek Bonk, the second an even strength score by Hornqvist. On the first Nashville goal, Bonk created the play by battling his way to the front of the crease. Peverley's pass from the right point was deflected to Erat in the right side corner. Erat centered the puck to Bonk's stick for the redirect.
Hornqvist's goal at the 9:04 mark of the second frame came after Dallas was whistled for icing. The Preds won the faceoff back to Suter at the near point. Suter saucered a pass along the blueline to Shea Weber. Weber rifled a shot on net which was redirected by Hornqvist cutting across the center slot to tie the score, 2-2.
Dallas's Brunnstrom scored twice in a 2:28 span – his first two career NHL goals – to allow the Stars to retain their one goal advantage heading into the third period of play. Brunnstrom's first goal came off a dump-in by Dallas which Toby Petersen collected for a two-on-one with Brunnstrom, feeding the rookie for his first career goal. On the second, Dallas wrapped the puck hard around the boards, but Brad Richards was able to win the puck on the far side for a quick pass to Sean Avery alone in the center slot. Avery extended to reach Richards's feed and flipped a pass to Brunnstrom on the wing for the empty netter.
Jones's goal, which came between the two Brunnstrom markers, was the product of hard work on the forecheck by Jones and Peverley. Peverley won the battle behind the net and flipped the puck into the goal crease. Jones fought hard to get to the front of the net and outworked the defenders to jam the bouncing puck over the goal line.
After a slow start to the third period, the teams traded five power-plays. The Preds converted right after the conclusion of their third man advantage of the frame. Jones started the play in the right wing corner, powering his way to the side of the net. His initial attempt was turned aside, but the puck squirted out the far side to Erat for his first of the season.
Dan Ellis made a game-saving stop with 7:17 remaining in regulation, turning aside a two-on-none from the faceoff dot in by Ribeiro and Brendan Morrow.
Brunnstrom completed his hat trick with 3:25 remaining in regulation. Richards worked behind the net. Richards backhanded a pass on Brunnstrom's stick at the near side post for the bang-in.
Modano closed the scoring with an empty net goal with 3.3 seconds remaining., after he blocked a Shea Weber blast from the point, collected the loose puck and bounced a shot down the ice for his second of the game.
Fabian Brunnstrom, Patric Hornqvist, and Ryan Jones each scored his first career NHL goal in tonight's game, the first time in three years that three players have scored first career NHL goals in the same game. The last time the feat was accomplished was Oct. 8, 2005 when Boston's Brad Boyes and Pat Leahy and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby each scored his first career NHL goal ... Nashville's defensemenhave combined to record 8 points through the first four games of the season (4g, 4a), including 3 points (3a) in tonight's game ... Shea Weber skated a team-high 24:46 of ice time. Greg de Vries, Dan Hamhuis, and Ryan Suter also skated over 20:00 of ice time in the game ... Weber also led the team with 5 hits ... Hamhuis recorded a game-high 4 blocked shots ... The line of Radek Bonk - J.P. Dumont - Hornqvist combined for 7 of Nashville's 19 shots on goal.
1 - 0 DAL
2 - 0 DAL